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The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), known for its anti-doping efforts, has investigated and now rejected several performances that initially qualified athletes for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The AIU received 17 referrals to be investigated for suspicious qualifying performances. The referrals were from 16 countries and included 31 athletes and five relay teams. As a result, and after investigations were conducted, eight qualifying performances for the Olympic Games were not recognised by the AIU and World Athletics. A number of the cases have been identified by the AIU for further investigation to determine if fraudulent conduct was involved.

David Howman, Chair of the AIU said, “The work of the AIU goes far beyond anti-doping. In preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, our team has been busy identifying, analysing, and investigating potential instances of competition manipulation. Thanks to our investigations, World Athletics has refused to recognise several questionable qualifying performances.”

The reported concerns covered unreliable photo-finish pictures, the short measuring of courses, illegal use of pacers, use of
unauthorised field instruments and incorrect timings, among other things.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward and reported suspicious activity. This work has been important in protecting the integrity of the qualification process and the fair allocation of competition places for athletes,” Howman added.

Anyone can anonymously report any form of misconduct in the sport of athletics, including attempts to manipulate competition results, by submitting an online reporting form available on the AIU website. athleticsintegrity.org.